BVHS Weekend Column: Children’s Migraine and Tension Headaches

Children’s Migraine and Tension Headaches: Massage Therapy Solutions – by Carol Baumhardt, Massage Therapist,

Children’s Migraine and Tension Headaches: Massage Therapy Solutions

by Carol Baumhardt, Massage Therapist, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of Blanchard Valley Health System

Carol Baumhardt, Massage Therapist

Raise your hand if you enjoy having a headache. Silly, right? Nobody likes the pain, frustration and lost time a headache can bring. Yet many of us suffer from them, including children. The National Headache Foundation reports that 1 in 5 U.S. children ages 5 to 17 are prone to headaches. Fifteen percent of those who are prone have headaches labeled as tension and five percent are diagnosed as migraine.

Tension Headaches

Among the list of things that can help relieve the symptoms of an active tension headache are massage and stress management. In addition, massage may also help prevent the frequency, duration and intensity.

The causes for a tension headache in your child are similar to what might cause you to experience one:

  • Poor sleep. Children should be sleeping enoughconsecutive hours in order for their body to repair and rejuvenate.
  • Good and bad stress. Our bodies respond the same way to the anxiety of a big test as to the excitement of the school dance.
  • Poor posture. How many hours a day are your kids looking at a phone or spent hunched over their homework? With the cold weather here for a while, notice if their shoulders are elevated trying to generate warmth.
  • Repetitive use in daily activities. Are they always throwing a ball with the same arm? How many hours in a day are they playing their instruments? Are they gamers?

Just one, or any combination, of the above can lead to tight, tense muscles—a possible cause for tension headaches. What is a great way to help fatigued muscles? Massage!

Migraine Headaches

Receiving a massage during an active migraine may not be appealing due to possible increased sensitivity to touch, light, smell and sound. However, massage might help people recover from an event. Often an individual is left with muscle tension or tenderness as a residual effect of the migraine. Massage can help address these concerns.

Similar to tension headaches, there is a list of potential triggers for the onset of a migraine. If you know that muscle tension is a trigger for the child in your life diagnosed with migraines, it can be beneficial to seek out massage to help relieve some of the muscle tension. Stress can be another trigger. Massage has a general calming effect and has been proven to reduce cortisol, one of the body’s stress hormones.

While massage can be a great tool for those suffering from tension and migraine headaches, please seek out medical intervention if any of the following occur:

  • Pain is waking your child from sleep
  • The headache worsens or becomes more frequent
  • You notice a change in your child’s personality
  • The headache follows an injury
  • Your child is vomiting
  • Your child notes changes in his or her vision
  • Fever

While you encourage the children in your life to improve their sleeping habits or to adjust their posture, it might also be beneficial to work with a licensed massage therapist to help address restrictions within the soft tissues. Massage and stress management are excellent tools to give to your young loved ones as they continue to navigate into adulthood. After all, no one likes a headache. Speak to your family physician or local massage therapist to find out if massage therapy is right for your child.

BVHS: “Guilt, Anger and Challenges”

Bridge Bereavement Services, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, will host its December presentation of the “Living through Loss” series…..

“Guilt, Anger and Challenges” Presentation as Part of the “Living Through Loss” Series at Blanchard Valley Hospital

 Bridge Bereavement Services, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, will host its December presentation of the “Living through Loss” series on Monday, December 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This presentation is titled “Guilt, Anger and Challenges” and will take place in the Marathon Auditorium at Blanchard Valley Hospital, located at 1900 South Main Street in Findlay. Light refreshments will be provided.

“Guilt, Anger and Challenges” will discuss the range of emotions individuals may feel after the loss of a loved one, particularly guilt and anger. Often, those suffering a loss may feel they could have done more for their loved one before they passed, or even feel angry with themselves for failing to cope as quickly as they had hoped. “Guilt, Anger and Challenges” will focus on understanding these emotions and how the journey of grief is affected with an emphasis on finding practical ways to manage these feelings. An opportunity of discussion will follow.

“Living Through Loss” is a nine-month educational series that focuses on the issues surrounding the death of a loved one. Each monthly presentation is open to the public and registration is not required. Presentations are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Marathon Auditorium at Blanchard Valley Hospital. Presentations provide information related to the grief process and offer opportunities for discussion. Although the thought of speaking up in a group can be intimidating, many attendees find the discussion helpful as they discover their questions and concerns are similar to others. A bereavement expert is available to speak with attendees in private following the presentation.

For questions, to learn upcoming dates or to have a full program brochure sent to you, please contact Bridge Bereavement Services at 419.423.5351 or email


Bridge Bereavement Services is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area.

Birchaven Village Hosting ‘Bazaar Days’

Bazaar Days will feature a variety of items handmade by residents, staff, volunteers and families……

Birchaven Village will host its annual Bazaar Days craft and bake sale Friday, December 14 through Monday, December 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Birchaven’s indoor “Main Street,” located at 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay. The event is open to the public.

Bazaar Days will feature a variety of items handmade by residents, staff, volunteers and families. Items for sale include:

  • Homemade hardtack candy, fudge, buckeyes and dipped pretzels
  • Hand-crocheted doilies and other items
  • One-of-a-kind tree ornaments
  • Gifts for teachers
  • Cookie jar mixes and custom candy tins
  • Slippers for the whole family

A comfort food and bake sale will be held Friday, December 14 beginning at 10 a.m. featuring homemade chicken and noodles.

Beyond MedSpa, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System that specializes in cosmetic and aesthetic services, will have a table setup with their information on Saturday, December 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will be offering holiday gift sets and gift cards to purchase as well as an opportunity to win a door prize.

All proceeds benefit the activities’ program at Birchaven Village. For more information, please contact Birchaven Village at 419.424.3000.

Birchaven Village is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area.

BVHS Weekend Column: Tonsillitis

Children are unfortunately the most affected by tonsillitis with the majority of infections occurring between the ages of 4 and 10………


by Evan McBeath, MD, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
ENT & Allergy Specialists of Northwest Ohio

Dr. Evan McBeath

The tonsils are the two oval-shaped pads of tissue located in the back of the throat. In addition to adenoid tissue located in the back of the nose, tonsils are part of a complex network of special tissue that helps to fight infection in the head and neck region. However, due to their prominent location in the throat, their amount of exposure to bacteria and viruses, and their makeup with numerous crypts and pits, the tonsils often harbor bacteria and become overwhelmed with infection. Tonsillitis, or the inflammation of the tonsils, often leads to swelling, painful and difficulty swallowing, and tender lymph nodes in the neck. Headaches, earaches, fever and coughing are also common symptoms.

Although tonsillitis is most commonly caused by viral infections, bacteria such as streptococcus can also cause it. Additionally, certain streptococcal bacterial species can lead to other severe infections such as rheumatic fever and kidney damage, so rapid treatment with appropriate antibiotics is necessary in these cases.

The initial diagnosis of tonsillitis consists of performing a rapid strep test to determine whether a virus or bacteria caused the tonsillitis. Testing for tonsillitis related to mononucleosis, a viral infection, should also be considered. A rapid strep test involves swabbing the surface of the tonsils to determine whether the streptococcal bacteria is present, which is often followed by a throat culture for more definitive results. If the results are positive for a bacterial infection, then amoxicillin or a similar antibiotic should be used to treat the infection. If the strep test is negative, then the tonsillitis is likely the result of a virus, and treatment therefore focuses on supportive care with the use of over-the-counter medications, rest and plenty of fluids to reduce symptoms. However, patients should contact their health care provider if their symptoms are associated with a high fever, severe difficulty or painful swallowing, trouble swallowing their own saliva, a muffled voice, or failure to begin improving after about one week.

Although less common, some patients experience tonsillitis frequently over long periods of time with disruptive symptoms such as a persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing and even the potential formation of tonsil stones, which is called chronic tonsillitis. If someone has had more than seven separate episodes of tonsillitis in one year, five separate infections each year over two consecutive years, or three or more infections per year over three or more consecutive years, it is called recurrent acute tonsillitis.

Surgery may be recommended to remove the tonsils to help control infection and improve symptoms. This procedure, called tonsillectomy, is typically done as an outpatient and lasts about 45 minutes. Tonsillectomy, with or without adenoidectomy (removal of the adenoids), is also commonly performed to assist with the management of sleep apnea, especially in children. Although the recovery following tonsillectomy can be prolonged and painful, especially as an older child or adult, most patients undergoing tonsillectomy are able to return home the same day of the surgery and are typically back to work or school 10-14 days after surgery.

Children are unfortunately the most affected by tonsillitis with the majority of infections occurring between the ages of 4 and 10. Preventative measures, such as teaching children good habits of frequent hand washing and avoidance of sick contacts can decrease their chances of obtaining tonsillitis. Regardless of age, preventative techniques should be implemented both at home and in public spaces to minimize the risk of tonsillitis. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of tonsillitis, speak with your ENT physician.


BVHS Weekend Column: Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a problem for people of all ages…….

Hearing Loss, by Ellen Hambley, Audiologist, ENT & Allergy Specialists of Northwest Ohio

Have you noticed a difficulty hearing? Do you find yourself frustrated in noisy situations, or having trouble following the conversation and understanding the people speaking to you? Are you frequently asking people to repeat themselves in conversation?

According to a 2016 study by the National Institutes of Health NIDCD, approximately 15 percent (37.5 million) of American adults aged 20 to 69 years have trouble hearing and 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are facing hearing health challenges. Growing numbers of younger Americans are also reporting hearing problems. While age is still the greatest factor in hearing loss, many younger people experience hearing problems due to exposure to loud music and other high levels of noise, including occupational noise.

Many Americans are exposed to loud noises on the job. For instance, landscape professionals, construction workers and mechanics are consistently exposed to high levels of sound from loud equipment. If you work or frequently spend time in a noisy place, or listen to music at loud levels, you could be unconsciously damaging your hearing. Noise level is not the only concern—it is also important to be aware of the length of exposure. The louder the noise level, the less time of exposure is required to cause damage. Permanent damage to hearing can result from exposure to loud noises for an extended time, such as standing near speakers at a concert. However, hearing can also be irreversibly damaged after a short burst of explosive noise, such as a gunshot or fireworks. The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise as much as possible in addition to protecting your hearing by wearing earplugs in loud environments.

Signs of hearing loss may include:

  • Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio and having other family members complain that the volume is too loud
  • Difficulty understanding the people speaking to you and asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty with phone conversations and understanding speech over the phone
  • People telling you that you speak too loudly
  • Ringing in the ears


Audiologists are the experts in hearing health. Hearing aids are not always the only or recommended solution; therefore, it is important to see an audiologist to further determine the appropriate treatment. Sometimes hearing loss is temporary in nature or a symptom of another illness or disease. An audiologist will run various forms of diagnostic testing to determine the type and degree of hearing loss and will be able to recommend treatment.

Hearing loss is a problem for people of all ages. If you or any of your family members are experiencing difficulty hearing, having a hearing evaluation completed by a qualified audiologist is the first step in understanding the appropriate treatment plan for your hearing loss.


Birchaven Village Hosting Art Show

Created by ‘Opening Minds through Art’ Participants……

Birchaven Village, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, will host an open house art show displaying the artwork created by residents with dementia through the program “Opening Minds through Art” (OMA). This art show will take place on November 29, 2018 from 1 to 5 p.m. in The Hub at Birchaven, located at 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay. A ceremony recognizing the artists will begin at 2 p.m. and guests will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the artists.

This art show is taking place in collaboration with the University of Findlay (Findlay, OH). The students from the University of Findlay entering art- or gerontology-related fields have been serving as “art partners” to assist residents in creating their artwork. The University of Findlay intends to display the artwork on campus for one semester.

The OMA program originated at Miami University (Oxford, OH) and is designed to provide artistic opportunities for persons who suffer from dementia. In addition to acting as a form of therapy for residents, the program studies how creating art affects individuals with dementia. Associates assess how residents feel before the art class begins and again at the conclusion of the session, gathering data and submitting it to Miami University at the conclusion of the semester in an effort to better aid individuals with dementia. The program consists of 10 sessions.

All are invited to witness the artwork created by Birchaven Village’s residents. For more information, call Birchaven Village at 419.424.3000.

 Birchaven Village, located at 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay, provides long-term care, skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, rehabilitation, memory care and adult day care for seniors. Birchaven Village is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System.


Bridge Hospice to Host Annual Light Up a Life Events in B.G. and Findlay

Bridge Hospice, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, will host its annual “Light Up a Life” tree-lighting ceremonies in Bowling Green and Findlay this December. Through a tree-lighting and candle-lighting ceremony, loves ones who have passed will be honored. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Bowling Green ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Georgian Room at Heritage Corner, located at 1069 Klotz Road, Bowling Green.

The Findlay ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m. in The Chapel at Birchaven Village, located at 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay.

All are invited to attend. For more information, contact Bridge Hospice at 419.423.5351.

Bridge Home Health & Hospice is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area. The Bridge Home Health & Hospice mission is to promote optimal quality of life in the environment of the individual’s choice.

BVHS Nurse Named the 2018 Forensic Nurse of the Year

Michelle Stratton has been BVHS associate for the past 10 years………

Michelle Stratton, RN and forensic nursing program coordinator at Blanchard Valley Hospital (BVH), has been named the 2018 International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) Ohio Chapter Forensic Nurse of the Year.

Congratulations to Michelle Stratton, Ohio Forensic Nurse of the Year

According to the Ohio Chapter of the IAFN, forensic nurses of the year are providers who contribute to the development of teaching, disseminating information and/or promoting forensic nursing in their communities. Among other requirements, forensic nurses of the year must also have made significant contributions to the development of forensic nursing through leadership at a local, state and/or national level.

A BVHS associate for the past 10 years, Stratton’s role includes managing the schedule of the forensic nursing program, training new sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) nurses and budgeting forensic nursing program funds. Stratton has helped identify grants for this program to create personal, private exam rooms for sexual assault victims as well as provide comfort items such as robes, lotions and clean clothes. She also educates the community on sexual assault and domestic violence in eight counties.

Martha Rothey, development officer at the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, and Jessica Schetter, RN nominated Stratton for this award. “Stratton identified a need within her department to better serve victims of sexual assault, collaborated with other departments to receive a grant and successfully implemented in one year a 24/7 on-call forensic nursing program to meet the needs of some of BVH’s most traumatized patients,” explained Rothey.

“She is a role model for staff and has inspired many nurses to become SANE nurses,” added Schetter.

“I am honored to receive this recognition and will continue striving to deliver the highest quality of care to sexual assault victims in our community,” Stratton said.

Blanchard Valley Health System offers this forensic nursing program at both BVH and Bluffton Hospital. For more information, call BVH at 419.423.5207 or Bluffton Hospital at 419.358.9010. A SANE educational brochure is also available for download at

Bridge Hospice ‘Trees of Remembrance’ to be Placed Around Community

Ornaments are free of charge and will be located at each site for individuals to freely place upon the tree……

Bridge Hospice, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, will place four “Trees of Remembrance” in surrounding communities for individuals to hang ornaments bearing the names of their loved ones this holiday season. These trees will be placed on November 21 and remain standing until December 24. Ornaments are free of charge and will be located at each site for individuals to freely place upon the tree. The following locations will host a Tree of Remembrance:

  • Trends on Main, located at 501 S. Main St., Findlay
  • “Forest of Giving” in the Findlay Village Mall, located at 1800 Tiffin Avenue, Findlay
  • Ottawa Medical & Diagnostic Center, located at 1740 N. Perry Street, Suite D, Ottawa
  • Bowling Green Hospice Care Center, located at 1069 Klotz Road, Bowling Green

Donation envelopes and boxes will be located near each tree to give community members the opportunity to leave a donation for Bridge Hospice.

Call 419.423.5351 for more information.

BVHS Weekend Column: Getting the Skinny on Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disorder in developed countries……

Getting the Skinny on Fatty Liver Disease, by Brenda Keller, CNP, Gastroenterology Associates of Northwest Ohio

Brenda Keller, CNP

If you have been told that you have “fatty liver disease,” you are among 25 percent of people in the United States and 24 percent of people worldwide who have this condition. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat is deposited in the liver due to causes other than excessive alcohol use. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one type of fatty liver. NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in developed countries. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most extreme and fastest progressing subtype of NAFLD.

NASH and NAFLD are the leading causes of chronic liver disease. NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance, increasing body mass index (BMI) and age, and metabolic syndrome (obesity, combined hyperlipidemia, Type II diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure) as well as hypoxia caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Being male might also be a risk factor for NAFLD, as NAFLD has been observed to be more prevalent in men than women.

A liver biopsy is the only test widely accepted as distinguishing NASH from other forms of liver disease and can be used to assess the severity of the inflammation and the fibrosis that results from the disease. Since liver biopsy is associated with risks, and since most NAFLD patients are asymptomatic, other methods of diagnosis are preferred such as liver sonography (ultrasound). Routine liver function (blood) tests are not sensitive enough to detect NAFLD.

For those who have fatty liver with associated inflammatory injury (steatohepatitis), blood tests are usually indicated to rule out viral hepatitis (A, B and/or C), rubella and autoimmune diseases. Low thyroid activity is more prevalent in NASH patients and is detected by determining the thyroid stimulating hormone.

Imaging studies including liver ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen and magnetic resonance elastography can all be useful, noninvasive methods of detecting fatty liver disease.

Treatment for NAFLD involves treating the underlying cause. Weight reduction, increased activity and control of lipids and blood glucose are all beneficial. Daily vitamin E may also be prescribed for some patients with NAFLD. A diet that is plant-based may reduce symptoms. Patients with NAFLD should consider diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Limiting alcohol intake is also recommended. The absorption of alcohol can cause fat to accumulate on the liver and lead to inflammation.

If you feel discouraged because you have been told that you have fatty liver disease, cling to the “better-late-than-never” principle. It is better to lose excess weight, increase physical activity and make the necessary diet adjustments whenever you can, rather than not at all. Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your liver health.

Bluffton Hospital Receives National Recognition

For overall excellence in quality and patient perspectives………..

Bluffton Hospital Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Quality and Patient Perspectives

Bluffton Hospital, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS), has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality and patient perspectives for the fourth time, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

Bluffton Hospital ER

Bluffton Hospital is a licensed 25-bed, short-term acute care facility providing a full range of services including inpatient medical care, 24-hour emergency care, outpatient surgery, women’s care, cosmetic services and diagnostic services. The facility also features a Level 1 obstetrics unit and several physician specialty clinics, including a pelvic pain center.

“Bluffton Hospital is honored and humbled to accept this award for the fourth time,” said Chris Keller, president of Bluffton Hospital and vice president of clinical services and supply chain at BVHS. “Our patients at Bluffton Hospital are our top priority. We continuously strive to provide the highest quality care to our rural communities with the use of updated technology and advanced medicine.”

The Performance Leadership Awards are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from public data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars to derive a single overall percentile rating for all Critical Access Hospitals and Rural & Community Hospitals. The Performance Leadership awards spotlight top performance in the areas of Quality, Outcomes and Patient Perspective.

“We’re thrilled to partner with NOSORH on this program and commend this year’s recipients who are working diligently to provide quality care within their communities,” said Michael Topchik, national leader at The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

To learn more about the services available at Bluffton Hospital, please call 419.358.9010.


Bluffton Hospital is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area. The BVHS mission is to provide a broad continuum of exceptional health-related services in Northwest Ohio.

Bridge Holiday Wreath-making Events

The entire family is welcome to participate in this activity!

NBX stock photo

Bridge Hospice Bereavement Services is offering a “Holiday Memorial Wreath-making” event at two locations for those who have lost a loved one. Guests will create and display a wreath in memory of loved ones this holiday season.

The entire family is welcome to participate in this activity. This event will be held on Tuesday, November 27 from noon to 7 p.m. at Riverbend Park’s Brugeman Lodge in Findlay, Ohio and on Wednesday, November 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bowling Green Park’s Scout Building in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Wreath-making sessions will be scheduled in half-hour increments and preregistration is required.

The holidays can be a difficult time of year after experiencing the loss of a loved one. Bridge bereavement services will provide the materials needed to create a live evergreen wreath for participants to take home and decorate in a manner that reflects your loved one who cannot be physically with you this holiday season.

Wreath-making sessions fill quickly. Due to time and materials needed, please RSVP by calling Bridge Hospice at 419.423.5351 or emailing